Brown, Georgia State Top WKU 39-21 In LendingTree Bowl

Brown, Georgia State Top WKU 39-21 In LendingTree Bowl

MOBILE, Ala.: Redshirt freshman Cornelius Quad Brown threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns to lead Georgia State to a 39-21 victory over Western Kentucky on Saturday in the LendingTree Bowl.

The Panthers (6-4) scored touchdowns on four consecutive first-half possessions and Brown’s touchdown passes came in the second quarter to three receivers.

Destin Coates added 117 yards and a touchdown rushing, part of a 227-yard day on the ground for Georgia State.

Western Kentucky (5-7) scored first, driving 80 yards in 14 plays for quarterback Tyrrell Pigromes 2-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead with 4:02 left in the first. Georgia State answered with a largely run-based drive, capped by Coates 11-yard run that made it 7-7 with eight seconds remaining in the first.

The Panthers scored again on their next possession to take a 14-7 lead, with Brown hitting Sam Pinckney with a 26-yard strike at the goal line with 9:50 left in the half. After Pigrome threw his first interception of the year three plays later, Georgia State again got into the end zone on Browns 5-yard pass to Jamari Thrash for a 21-7 lead at the 2:09 mark of the second.

Georgia State picked off another of Pigrome’s passes moments later, and again it led to points. The Panthers drove 80 yards to the end zone, with Brown hitting Cornelius McCoy on an 8-yard touchdown pass for a 27-7 lead with 8 seconds left in the half.

Western Kentucky scored a touchdown on the opening possession of the second half, with Gaej Walker running in from the 2. That made it 27-14 with 11:27 left in the third.

Georgia State added Noel Ruizs 45-yard field goal for a 30-14 lead midway through the third. Western Kentucky then had a chance to make it a one-score game, but the Panthers stopped the Hilltoppers on fourth-and-1 from the 2.

Ruiz booted a 29-yard field goal with 11:19 left to make it a three-score game again at 33-14. Back-up quarterback Mikele Colasurdo capped the Panthers scoring with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Cadarrius Thompson with 5:13 remaining (the extra point failed due to a bad snap).

Western Kentucky tacked on a touchdown with 2:18 left, when C.J. Jones ran in from two yards out. The Hilltoppers were outgained 478 yards to 284 in the game.

Brown completed 15 of 29 passes with an interception and ran for 40 yards on 10 attempts before giving way to Colasurdo midway through the fourth quarter

Pigrome, like Brown an Alabama native playing back in his home state, was 17 of 33 for 180 yards and two interceptions. He was also sacked three times.

THE TAKEAWAY

Georgia State: The Panthers finished with a winning record in back-to-back seasons for the first time in the programs 11-year history. They enter the offseason on a three-game winning streak.

Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers who had a three-game winning streak snapped finish with a losing record for the third time in four years, with a 9-4 mark in 2019 the highlight.

STREAK ENDED

Pigrome entered the game having not thrown an interception in 264 attempts this season, but the streak ended at 278 when Georgia States Antarious Lane made a diving pickoff midway through the second quarter. The streak was the longest in WKU history and in the FBS this season.

ABOVE & BELOW .500

Georgia State is 2-1 in bowls, with both wins over Western Kentucky. The Panthers also beat the Hilltoppers 27-17 in the 2017 Cure Bowl. Western Kentucky is 3-3 in bowls.

UP NEXT

Georgia State: The Panthers future appears bright, as Brown was just a redshirt freshman in 2020. Only five seniors started for Shawn Elliotts GSU team on Saturday, and all could potentially return next season under an NCAA eligibility waiver passed due to

COVID-19

.

Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers took a step back in Year 2 under coach Tyson Helton, but also have youth throughout the starting lineup. Pigrome, a fifth-year senior, must decide if he will return in 2021.

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